Unlike the celebration four days ago, today's journey began with a heavy heart. I have been desperately holding on to the magic of this season, not wanting it to end, willing the snow to stay forever. But when I got to the patch, even I had to admit that today was indeed the end.
Reluctantly, I hopped and I sidestepped, each turn bringing me closer to the end of the season. While Vespi romped through the wildflowers and ate more than her fair share of the patch, I did what I do best: I went skiing.
One final time, I could feel the magic of the mountain. With every turn I was lighter, free-er, more at peace with myself than I could ever hope to find in my real life. Everything else ceased to matter and I was alone with my snow and my skis.
I had to stop. The end was here and I knew it. After today, there would be no more snow for me. I know, I know, it's July for goodness sake, but suddenly I was feeling very sorry for myself. Then, out of the blue, my legs went out from under me and I just sat down with my skis on in the muddy snow...and cried.
The white world of winter means so much more to me than getting in as many runs or turns as you can. There's a quiet wonder that takes hold of the earth during the winter months, everything frozen beneath a beautiful blanket of white. It takes hold of everything around us, changes it, bends it to its frozen will. Winter is part of my soul, it haunts my dreams and takes me away to a place where everything is wonderful, where there is no pain or suffering - only snow. There is only the blanket of white as you float down the mountain...
Finally, I gathered my courage to stand up and remove my skis. I took one last look back...and slowly made the long walk home.
See you on the Mountain,
Location:Bear Mountain, Killington, VT